Report: Manchester United assure Michael Carrick of his importance to the club

Louis van Gaal remains a big fan of the midfielder despite heavy investment in that area of the squad this summer.

Manchester United vice-captain Michael Carrick remains very much in the mix for a regular spot in Louis van Gaal's midfield, say the Manchester Evening News, despite the high-profile signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.

Carrick has certainly been a value for money signing at Old Trafford, having joined from Tottenham in 2006 for a fee BBC Sport reported to be as high as £18.6 million.

But as he prepares to enter his 10th season in Manchester, the deep-lying playmaker has seen expensive recruitment in his area of the pitch, leading to questions as to what kind of role he will have at the club club next season.

The MEN states that Van Gaal has sought to convince Carrick, who has made 379 appearances for the Red Devils, of his ongoing importance, telling him he will continue his role as vice-captain for United, and will be in line for a rolling 12-month contract at Old Trafford next summer, when his present deal expires.

The struggle for Carrick next season

With injuries interrupting Carrick's, and United's strong spring spell of form last season, it was only natural that the Dutchman would want to bring in reinforcements for the player ahead of the new campaign.

However, United haven't just signed any old pair of midfielders this summer, they've bought the captain of the reigning World Cup holders and a player who many think was one of the Premier League's best central midfielders last season.

For that reason, despite his manager's assurances, the England international may find himself playing second fiddle for games even if he is fit, despite featuring in both of the club's pre-season matches in the US this month.

Carrick's game has never been one based on pace or covering ground in front of his defence, instead using his superb reading of the game and outstanding passing to intercept the opposition and be a capable instigator of play from a withdrawn position.

So even though he turns 34 later this month, the former West Ham and Tottenham player could well have the necessary legs to perform in the Premier League for some time yet, even if he'll have to wait to see if he will get the minutes he expects at Old Trafford.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch